by Paula Nicole A. Zaldivar
The second batch of Mother Class participants from Sitio 5 of Brgy. San Antonio in Bay, Laguna enjoyed a Family Day on January 21, 2012. The event served as the culminating program for the home-based Mother Classes held every Sunday at the barangay.
The three-hour event included games, a small feast, and the awarding of token of appreciation to the Barangay Health Workers (BHW) who volunteered to become teachers for the the Mother Class.
The games facilitated during the Family Day included a vegetable relay and Pinoy Henyo on health concepts. The activities put to test what the mother-participants and their children learned during their mother class sessions. The mothers were also asked to plan a healthy menu and write recipes for their families. Prizes were given to the winners of each game.
Elizabeth Bargoda, a mother-participant during the Family Day, shared that she had fun during the activity. She said that the Family Day was a good venue for her and her family to bond and enjoy, while at the same time, learn. She, together with her daughter Valerie, was one of the winners of the vegetable relay.
The awarding held at the last part of the program recognized the six Barangay Health Worker volunteers who taught the mothers. There were 50-60 participants of the home-based Mother Class and the volunteers taught at least 10 mothers for each session.
Corazon Sarmiento, one of the recognized health workers, shared that she decided to become a volunteer mainly because she wanted to help in her own little ways. She added that it gave her fulfillment whenever she does her job as a BHW.
Sarmiento explained as well that she and her fellow volunteers were given proper training and lesson so that they will be a credible facilitator for the mother class. They even had workshop in places such as Lucban, Quezon and Batangas, together with the other volunteers of the ChildFund Philippines from the other parts of the country. These workshops and even the mother class program were funded by the Child Fund Philippines.
ChildFund Philippines is a non-government organization which aims to educate and address to the families, communities and the government different children related issues, one of which is health. They conduct seminars and workshops for their volunteers while these volunteers are those who disseminate information and conduct seminars to their local.
ChildFund Philippines was able to reach Brgy. San Antonio through their coordination with Romley Dyamante, the Community Mobilizer of the Barangay Health Center of San Antonio. The NGO provided the modules used during the Mother Classes. They also provided other resources needed for the program.
The Mother Class aimed to educate mothers on ways of taking care of their children in terms of health and knowing their children’s rights. Their topic for their first session was the Convention of the Right of the Child. They emphasized here the right of a born child to be registered and to be known through birth certificate. Their second topic, which lasted for three meetings, was about the Indigenous Cooking Practices. The session also discussed how to avoid preservatives in cooking. The last topic discussed was about Nutritious and Healthy Food. They encouraged the mothers to give and train their children to eat vegetables. They emphasized not just the cooking of vegetables but also growing them in their own backyards,
Merceditas Masarap, one of the participants of the Mother Class, claimed that she learned a lot from the Mother Class. When asked if she was able to apply the concepts and ideas taught to them, she said that she is trying to integrate what she learned slowly. “Di naman agad-agad mababago yun,kelangan dahan-dahan. Pero sinusubukan ko talagang pakainin na sila (referring to her two children) ng gulay at ayun nga, umiwas na ko sa paggamit ng preservatives.”
Overall, both the participants and the volunteers agreed that the Mother Class was successful. Ria Abuan, one of the BHW, believed that it was successful because they were able to present a range of options for the mothers who joined their sessions. Abuan explained that there were mothers who regretted that they cannot bring their children to popular fastfood chains. After their session about preservatives, however, the mothers were able to realize that it is not really important because there are more healthy foods that they can give to their children.
This recently culminated Mother Class is the second time for the barangay. There were two sessions each month, held every Sunday. It started October 9, last year. They had five sessions until January because they did not hold classes during December.
The volunteers went on each house of Sitio 5 to invite the mothers personally. They intend to resume the Mother Class this coming February, now in a another sitio.